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pass from me. It is not possible ; and he adds, Nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt. His soul is made an offering for sin; and the atonement is completed. But where is the intercession? Was it not heard upon the cross, in behalf of the very sinners who nailed him to it? Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. Is it not carried forward at this hour? Are not the coals burning in the censer, and the bright cloud of his mediation going up as an acceptable incense to the Father? And as Aaron's interference preserved the dying thousands of Israel, is not the risen and glorified High Priest of our profession able to save to the uttermost all them that come to God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them? We admire the ready devotion of Aaron. Shall we not bless and praise the infinite grace and love which filled the Saviour's heart, when he placed himself in our stead, and bought us with his life? Greatly hath“ God commended his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us!"
Did Aaron establish a claim upon the affectionate gratitude and zealous obedience of the men whom his mediation saved alive: and would they have been utterly inexcusable to rebel against him? What then, will be their guilt, their shame, their ingratitude, who can receive this
best gift of the grace of God in vain, see no beauty in the Redeemer why they should desire him; but close their hearts against him, in cold disregard? If any man sin we have an advocate with the Father Jesus Christ the righteous, and he is the propitiation for our sins. The golden sceptre of the Father's grace is extended through him to all. Touch it, my brethren, and live. Have you neglected mercy, sinned against your souls; and do ye fear the coming death? Flee to the salvation of the Lord, your substitute, and Redeemer. Him that cometh he will in no wise cast out. But resist his authority no more. Bow down before him in the humility of penitence: and accept him, not only as your Priest, but as your exclusive Sovereign.
(2.) Behold also, the necessity of being separate from sinners.
Before the judgment was inflicted, Moses was commanded to warn the congregation, and to bid them get up from, the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. Vainly, however, did he appeal to these leaders of the rebellion. They persisted in their hardness of heart; and wrath fell upon them to the uttermost. He then besought the whole congregation ; “ Depart, I pray you, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of their's, lest ye be consumed in all their sins.” Even thus would we address you: We are am
bassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us :
we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Be not partakers with other men's sins. My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. Ever before judgement comes, there is a separation, that wrath may fall upon the offenders. And when the last judgment shall arrive, there will be a separation of the righteous and the wicked, entire, final, eternal. Make that separation now. “ Come ye out from among them, and touch not the unclean thing," that God may
receive you. The Israelites fled at the cry of the guilty men, whom the earth opened to receive: for they said, “ Lest it swallow us up also.” Could we also hear with the quickened sense of faith, the lamentations of those, over whom the pit has closed, whose day of mercy is past, whose dark night of woe and judgment is come, to pass away no more for ever, we should surely be warned. Surely warned! Alas, if we hear and believe not Moses and the prophets, and the Redeemer, speaking in the scriptures of salvation, neither shall we be persuaded though one rose from the dead. Flee then from the ways of evil, from the society of transgressors, and from the wrath of God. Embrace salvation in the mercies of Jesus Christ; and sin
no more, lest a worse thing happen unto you. Imagine, while you are lingering in the way of death, that you feel the touch, and hear the voice of that angel, who laid hold on the hand of Lot, as he lingered in the neighbourhood of Sodom, and cried, Escape for thy life. Look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain. Escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.
PUNISHMENT DENOUNCED AGAINST MOSES AND
NUMBERS XX. 12.
And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because
ye believed me not to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given you.
The sword of the Spirit which is the word of God” meets the Christian continually, to restrain him from sin, like that flaming weapon in the hand of the cherubim, which turned every way to guard the way of the tree of life from the approach of our fallen parents. Examples are adduced and warnings given, from all the varieties of human character and conduct, “ that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." Hitherto, in following the march of Israel through the wilderness, we have been called to mourn over the iniquity of the people. The scene must now be changed, in a single instance ; and, instead of regarding the rulers of the